Types Of Horse Racing Bet

Updated: 9863 Learning

For information on all types of horse racing bet such as win, each way, lay, place and doubles, see lesson on Types of Bet. For Tote bets on horse racing visit the appropriate section.

Types Of Horse Racing Bet
Andy Powell Content Editor

Horse Racing stats man, Andy has contributed to OLBG for 18 years - An Ipswich fan and F1 fanatic, he also contributes EFL football and Motor Sport opinion.

Horse Racing Betting

Eager to understand which bets to place on horse racing? This betting guide unravels the mystery of some multiple bets offering you savvy information and fundamental insights. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned punter, and whether you like horse racing singles or eight runner accumulators you'll find valuable tips to decide which bets you should place. 

Win Bet or Each Way Bet

When deciding to place a bet on a horse with an online bookmaker, you have the choice of backing the horse to win or each way. 

If you back the horse to win, it has to pass the finishing post ahead of all the other runners for you to win your bet. 

A £5 win bet at 5/1 will return £30, (5 x £5 + your stake back of £5 = £30)

If you back the horse each way, you are placing two bets: one on winning and one on placing. 

So if you want to spend £5, that is £2.50 to win and £2.50 to place. 

If your horse finished placed at 5/1 but does not win, then the £2.50 win part of your each-way bet is lost, but the £2.50 place part is paid out in the following way.

Runners Race Name Odds Places
5-7 Non Handicap 1/4 1st or 2nd
8 or more Non Handicap 1/5 1st or 2nd or 3rd
5-7 Handicap 1/4 1st or 2nd
8-11 Handicap 1/5 1st or 2nd or 3rd
12-15 Handicaps Handicap 1/4 1st or 2nd or 3rd
16 or more Handicaps Handicap 1/4 1st or 2nd or 3rd or 4th
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Using the table above, let's say your horse came 3rd in an 8-runner non-handicap race. You will be paid out at 1/5th of the odds, so a fifth of 5/1 is 1/1. Your £2.50 place bet returns £5. 

Many punters bet each way when the odds are 5/1 above, especially if they cannot see the horse finishing out of the first three at the very least. 

Each way betting is being more cautious but can pay dividends. 

Each Way Promotions

The best betting sites are always looking to attract punters with enhanced place terms especially on large field horse racing handicaps. Make sure you check which of them are playing the most places or the best fractional terms.

You can read more about finding winning bets in the helpful and informative blog written by OLBG members.

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You can tip both win and each way in the OLBG Horse Racing Tipping Competition

Horse Racing Multiple Bets

Those of us who bet on horse racing often try and increase our chances of a big payout by combining two or more selections in a bet. 

Many new to OLBG asked the question about what was the best type of bet to pass an afternoon or during one of the big festivals such as the Cheltenham Festival or Royal Ascot 

Below is the list of multiple bets where if they all win you could be on for a big payout. 

You can check how the odds quickly accumulate by using the OLBG acca calculator on selections. 

These are the common horse racing multiple bets, what they mean and how many bets are involved. 

Use the following to see how many bets of each type there are depending on how many selections you make.


How Many Bets?

If you combine selections how many different combinations can you make?

These are bets which are aimed to cover as many multiple bets as possible for the number of selections which are in your betslip which will include doubles, trebles and accumulators.

BetSelectionsNo. of Bets
Trixie34
Patent37
Yankee411
Canadian526
Heinz657
Super Heinz7120
Goliath8247


Trixie

  • A trixie is 4 bets involving 3 selections in different events. 
  • The bet includes 3 doubles and 1 treble. 
  • Two of your selections must be successful to get a return.

Patent

  • A Patent consists of 7 bets involving 3 selections in different events. 
  • The bet includes a single on each selection, 3 doubles and 1 treble. 
  • If one selection is successful you get a return.

Yankee

A Yankee consists of 11 bets involving 4 selections in different events. 

The bet includes 6 doubles, 4 trebles, and an accumulator.

 A minimum of 2 of your selections must be successful to get a return.

Lucky 15

  • A Lucky 15 consists of 15 bets involving 4 selections in different events. 
  • The bet is made up of 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles, and 1 fourfold.
  • If one selection wins, bookmakers will often give a consolation to the returns like double or treble the odds odds. If all four selections win, then often bookmakers will give a bonus of 10% or more to total returns. 
  • For each-way lucky 15 bets the consolation is normally only paid on the win part of the bet. 
  • Because of these bonuses, Lucky 15 bets are often thought of good value multiple bets
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Canadian

  • A Canadian is also known as a Super Yankee and is made up of 26 bets involving 5 selections in different events. 
  • The bet includes 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 fourfolds plus an accumulator. 
  • A minimum of 2 of your selections must be successful to get a return.

Lucky 31

  • A Lucky 31 has 31 bets! It is made from 5 selections in different events. 
  • The bets include 5 singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 fourfolds and an accumulator. 
  • As with the Lucky 15, if only one selection wins, returns are often paid to double or treble the odds.
  • If all five selections win, a bonus is often paid of 15% upwards to the total returns. 
  • If you place and each way Lucky 31, normally the bonus is only paid on the win part of the bet.

Heinz

A Heinz is made up of of 57 bets and it name comes from the 57 varieties which the baked bean making company once had! 

This bet involves 6 selections in different events. The bet includes 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 fourfolds, 6 five folds and an accumulator. 

A minimum of two of your selections must be successful to get a return.

Lucky 63

  • Like a lucky 15 and 31 but with another selection. It consists of 63 bets involving 6 selections in different events. 
  • The bet includes 6 singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 fourfolds, 6 five folds and an accumulator.
  • If only one selection wins, returns are often paid to double or treble the odds. 
  • If all six selections win, a bonus is often paid, normally of 20% + to total returns. 
  • With each-way lucky 63 bets the consolation is normally only paid on the win part of the bet. 
  • Lucky 63 bets are quite popular greyhound bets.

Super Heinz

Another selection added to a Heinz but this time has nothing to do with baked beans. 

A Super Heinz is made up of 120 bets involving 7 selections in different events.

The bet includes 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 fourfolds, 21 five folds, 7 sixfolds and an accumulator.

 A minimum of 2 of your selections must be successful to get a return, below is an example of an each way Super Heinz. 



Goliath

A Goliath is a monster of a bet and consists of 247 bets involving 8 selections in different events. 

The bet includes 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 fourfolds, 56 five folds, 28 sixfolds, 8 seven folds and an accumulator. 

A minimum of 2 of your selections must be successful to get a return.

Horse Racing Accumulator

  • This bet can in theory be as many horse racing selections as you wish. 
  • You can back win or place accumulators, but all of them must win in win accumulators and all must place in place accumulators. 
  • Understandably the more selections you add the greater the return but the harder it becomes.


When you have figured out the best type of multiple bet check out the best bookmakers for horse racing and those that may offer any free bets

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Forecasts and Tricasts

There are three main types of forecast bets with the bookmakers. 

  • Forecast
  • Reverse Forecast
  • Combination Forecast


Forecast

  • You have to select the winner and second in the correct order. 
  • The bigger the odds of your selections the larger return you will win.
Forecast Return

As an example of the huge payouts on offer in April 2024 on a midweek race with only nine runners, the winner was priced at 12/1 and the second at 150/1. The forecast paid a whopping £991.57.

Reverse Forecast

  • Here you again choose two selections, but it does not matter in which order they return (1-2, 2-1)
  • A £1 reverse forecast will cost you £2 as it is two bets.

Combination Forecast

  • Here you can choose multiple horses but they must make the 1-2
  • Let us say in in a 20 runner handicap you choose 4 horses which is 12 bets, as long as any of the four fill the first two places you will win the bet.
  • However the more selections  you choose the larger the cost as you can see below.  
SelectionsBets
36
412
520
630

For non runners on forecasts please check your individual bookmaker on how they settle forecast bets. 

Tricast

  • Here you have to choose the 1-2-3 in the correct finishing order.
  • The bigger the odds of the 1-2-3 the bigger the payout, but naturally it is very hard to predict. 
Tricast

In the above highlighted race where the winner was 12/1 and the second 150/1, the third horse was 80/1. The tricast paid £6,851.50.

Tote Bets

The Tote has a presence on racecourses and online offering an alternative to the bookmakers. On the Tote you place bets into a pool and after the event has concluded and no more bets are accepted, the total pool of money is divided among the winning bets, with the size of the payout determined by the odds and the amount of money in the pool. We have a dedicated Tote Guide which covers all the possible betting options which include:

  • Win
  • Place
  • Placepot
  • Placepot 7
  • Jackpot
  • Exacta
  • Swinger
  • Trifecta
  • Quadpot
  • Scoop6
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Betting Exchange Horse Racing Bets

Betting Exchanges cover most of the same horse racing bets as the bookmakers but with one major difference and that is the ability to bet AGAINST horses. 

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The term Lay means you are betting on something not to happen such as a horse not winning. 

On an exchange you are betting against other exchange bettors and not a bookmaker. 

In horse racing, when you lay a horse, you win if any other horse in the race comes first. If the horse you bet against wins then you lose and have to pay the backer his winnings, which could be a lot more than the stake. 

If you lay a bet at odds of 1.5 for £10 you are liable for £5 and will win £10 if the bet lands.

If you lay a bet at odds of 3.5 for £10 you are liable for £25 and win £10 if the bet lands.

If you lay a bet at odds of 5.5 for £10 you are liable for £45 and win £10 if the bet lands.  

You can read more about how each betting exchanges operate in our comprehensive betting exchange reviews. 

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Spread Betting On Horses

Spread betting is often viewed as riskier as you can lose more than your initial stake, but if you have horse racing knowledge, then their pricing model can offer better opportunities. 


The two main spread betting firms are Sporting Index and Spreadex, with very little difference between their odds. Below is an example of a pre-race meeting on Spreadex. They cover every meeting in the UK and Ireland daily.  

They create a "spread" of where they think the market will finish, in this case the Favourites is priced at 91-95. 

If, for example, you were to BUY Favourites at £1 a point at 95, you would get 25 points for a win, 10 points for a second, and 5 points for a third, and the result of the favourites read:

W, W, L, 2ND, L, W, W that would be 110 points. 

As you bought at 95, you made a 15-point profit (Buy at 95 settled at 110 = 15 x £1 stake), which is a profit of £15. 

However, if the results went like this:

W, W, L, L, L, L, 2ND, your total would only be 60 points, and you would lose 35 points. (Buy at 95 settled at 60 = (- 35) x £1 stake) is a loss of £35.

So you can see, with spread betting, the potential for big wins is just as real as the possibility of big losses,  this element of unpredictability can add an exciting edge to your horse racing experience. 

To read more about Spread Betting, please visit our comprehensive guide.

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Horse Racing Specials

Every day, the bigger bookmakers, such as Bet VictorLadbrokesPaddy Power, and William Hill, offer a range of specials based on favourites, jockeys, distances, and horses. They group together some of these and then create odds. If you have a particular opinion on a meeting and decide that there is some betting value on these markets, then they are always worth checking out.  

FAQ

  • How do you bet on horse racing online?

    Betting on horse racing online is as easy as going into a higher street betting shop. in fact, it can be deemed an even easier, as you don't have to make the trip. You do need to register for an online account after choosing the betting site you want to use. Horse racing is very popular, so it is easy to find on the ap, select the race and the horse you want to bet on and choose your stake. you will have a betslip and can confirm if the details are correct. 

  • What is the best way to bet on horses?

    Many an expert and professional gambler will tell you the best way to bet on horse racing is by making single bets either on the win or place markets. Once you begin to combine selections into bet, the probability of winning becomes lower, the strike rate lower and odds larger. Whilst this can lead to bigger wins, it is also harder to make a slow and steady profit than by betting on singles alone.

  • Can you bet on a horse to lose?

    It is possible to bet on horses to lose. This was once the reserve of the bookmaker, but the betting exchanges offer the opportunity to bet like a bookmaker and many online betting sites now offer the option to bet on a horse not to win. When betting on a horse to lose, you offer the odds on the exchanges to people wanting to bet that the horse will win. This is different from bookmaker sites where the option is will the horse win the race, Yes or no.

  • What types of bets can you make on horses?

    From betting on a horse to win a race there are a huge number of other options on the types of bets you make on horses. From two selections creating doubles, or trying to predict the first and second place finishers known as a forecast or exacta, there are dozens of types of bets you can make on horse racing.

  • How often does the favourite horse win?

    The favourite horse in a race will win around about 30% of the time in all races. This is of course a fluid figure and will fluctuate between other factors such as the course, month of the year or on different types of ground. It is worth investigating more specific favourite winning statistics on racing stats websites where you may be able to find where favourites win more or less often than the general 30% figure to find a betting angle.

  • What are the best horse racing tips today?

    The best horse racing tips today are the selections receiving the most predictions from OLBG's horse racing tipsters. The free horse racing tips designated with a crown denotes the number of experts making this selection. Experts are the OLBG horse racing tipsters with the best level stakes profit (LSP) for horse racing tips over the last 12 months. 

  • When will horse racing tips for tomorrow be available?

    The free horse racing tips for tomorrow are available to view now, tipsters begin placing their selections from the afternoon of the day before race day. Horse racing tips are added up to around 15 minutes before the scheduled start time of the race, tipsters may add tips early if they consider the available odds on offer to be good and expect them to shorten.

  • Should I only use free horse racing tips?

    We believe you do not need to pay for selections from other subscription services as we have daily free horse racing tips here from OLBG's expert horse racing tipsters. Our tipsters compete for generous prize money in our monthly horse racing tipster competitions so they do not need to sell their tips. Our tipsters current profit figures covering up to the last 12 months are shown with their racing tips today and every day so you can see who are performing well with their horse racing tips and choose who to follow.

  • Do you have lucky 15 horse racing tips?

    Yes, we have daily Lucky 15 horse racing tips which can be found on our Accumulator Tips list. The selections are the most popular each way horse racing tips today from the best profit performing horse racing tipsters on OLBG. The daily Each Way Lucky 15 tips are available from around 10am (GMT), if you wish to use the selections in a Lucky 15 win bet that's fine. You can also build your own Lucky 15 bets by using our acca tool to select the best selections from the free horse racing tips on OLBG.

Responsible Gambling

Whatever bet you decide on, you should always gamble responsibly. On OLBG, we have advised this approach since the site was created in 2002. The articles below were produced to ensure that members and readers had all the necessary responsible gambling information, alongside links to charities that aid any problem gamblers.

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Author

OLBG Betting Expert Nigel Skinner created and updated this horse racing bet article. Nigel has been following horse racing for over twenty years and reports that all of the above bets he has placed at one time or another!

Nigel Skinner

Nigel Skinner

Blog content manager

Nigel is one of OLBG's senior editors with 19 years of industry experience. Today he specialises in researching and writing about the betting angles to political and mainstream news stories and being the OLBG in-house expert on 'next football manager' betting markets.

Specialist Subjects🔬📚

⚽️👨‍💼 Nigel is an Arsenal fan first and foremost but has an unrivalled knowledge of English football managers at every level. Meticulously putting together our Next Manager articles, Nigel can quite possibly name you every manager of every club in the land, not to mention a pretty good eye for predicting replacements when changes happen. 

📈📊📉 A long-time exchange trader and spread betting fan, Nigel is our go-to for advice on the subjects and uses them daily in his own betting activity. 

🗳️💼 Finally, Nigel loves his politics and [some would say] has an unhealthy interest in the day-to-day events in the UK's political landscape, contributing to all our Political betting content and new pieces.

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